Monday, April 5, 2010
Big Motions on Windy Hill
I am able to report that after much debate, internal consternation, weighing of pros and cons, we decided to site the hop yard in the western end of the northwest plot. This is on a high spot of our property and I thought the drainage should be decent there. That area has proven itself very effective at growing thick turf and grass. It also has full sun and is somewhat blocked by other buildings from the prevalent winds. Long story made short: we made a decision and broke ground. Using my GPS and a 100' tape measure I laid out an area that is 56'x100', mowed it as short as possible and prepared the plow.
Now, I have read that plowing with a moldboard plow is something of a dying art and an activity requiring a degree of skill not required with the more commonly used tillage methods in "modern" farming. Fortunately, I used our garden area for practice last week and learned how to set the plow properly. There is something kind of ironic about going to the internet or my iPhone to get info about plowing...but it worked. I was able to set it up and by the last half of the garden I had nice furrows that were being turned over properly. I should mention that it wasn't simple I am not sure how I would have figured it out without the internet. Here is a photo of my fist furrow. Luckily, I think the farming neighbors were off doing easterly things and weren't around to watch me; that would have been a bit of pressure. Nonetheless I made a pretty straight row and it turned over nicely.
About half way through I actually started feeling some pride and satisfaction in how the furrows were laying down. When they are done correctly, the flip over relatively flat and it give a bit of an undulating surface. In any case, it is done and I only have to wait a little while for the grass to dye and to run over it all with the secondary cultivator to break up the big pieces and then we will be ready for the hops plants, which came in on Sunday. My next blog entry will have some photos of the hops that are currently in the fridge and an interesting story of how I am utilizing a disc harrow that I found on our property. It was half buried in the mud with a tree growing through it. Until then, remember to stops and smell the hops.